American gambling news section of the Sun-Sentinel ran an article on the conference of tribal group representatives in the gaming industry.
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) members, representing 184 of the nation’s tribes, gathered at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood last week. The representatives discussed emerging issues concerning gambling and the possible future expectations.
The main topics were the possible changes in American gambling regulations. The NIGA fears that the Reid-Kyl proposal would change their favorable status. The bill draft would take away the Native American tribes’ right to run gambling establishments independently from their home state.
Executive director of the Jason Giles emphasized that most of the nation’s 246 tribes have clear intentions in remaining in business for both the land based and possible future online casinos in United States.
Indian gambling, granted to the Native Americans by American gambling laws, is a $26.5 billion per-year business in the USA. During the recent years, tribal casinos managed to create almost as much revenue as the commercial casinos.
Giles claimed: “The top 40 tribes make 75 percent of the money. That means about 200 tribes, especially those in the upper Midwest and lower-population areas such as Montana, are pretty much break-even propositions.”
Giles went on saying: “We all realize the future of gambling is the younger generation, with online gambling and mobile apps. And we don’t want a state-run system to get out in front of us.”
However, Giles was worried about the rumor that speaks about only land casinos with 500 or more slot machines allowed entering the future online market. According to his estimates, only 4 or 5 tribes could be granted online licenses.
The NIGA has high hopes for running online poker rooms once the card game is legalized federally in the USA. Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas welcomed the Indians’ entry to the online poker market saying: “Those who are opposed are pretty short-sighted. This is going to happen.”